Monday, February 20, 2012

a l e x a n d r a

alexandra_locketinhand

every year
i make
a resolution
to
find alexandra.

each year
comes and goes
and
where she is
is still a mystery.

you see,
i have carried
this box with me
for almost
15 years...

alexandra_boxclosed

i decorated
this box
for her
for her birthday
the year
after
i visited her
and
her family
in bretagne.

somehow,
as often
happens in life,
i missed
the opportunity
to send it to her.

i moved
then
she moved.
we
lost
touch.

alexandra_boxopen

i met alexandra
in the little
farm town
of pullman
surrounded by
wheat fields.

i took
a french
conversation class.
she was the
graduate student
that taught it.
i cannot
tell you
exactly why
but
i instantly
liked her.
i wanted
to be
her friend.

i have always
loved french
but
i needed
help with
speaking
french
so
i asked her
if she would
tutor me.

we met
at the only
coffeeshop
in
this little town
and she
tried
to help me
with my french.

before long
we abandoned
the tutoring
and spent
afternoons
chatting
about life.
and
especially,
at the time,
about love.

when
she returned
to france
at the end
of the year
i promised her
that
i would visit.

alexandra_house

and
i did.

the following
summer
i was studying
literature
in lübeck
and went
to visit her
in la trinité-sur-mer.

i wish that
i could share
with you
the photos
i took
on that trip.
but
they are buried
somewhere
in an old chest
in my parents' barn.

i can picture
that trip
as if
the photo album
laid open
in front of me.

walking
along the port
with her
little sister.

making crepes
with her
grandma.

playing pétanque
with her
grandpa.

and
afternoons
driving
with her
and her friends
to carnac
and
eating crepes
on the sand
by the sea.

her family
took me
on a long drive
into
the countryside
to a large
cottage
in the middle
of nowhere
where they
served
"the best crepes
in bretagne."

her little sister
took me outside
to a window
where you could
look in
and see dozens
of old ladies
in
an enormous kitchen
making crepes.

i have
often wished
i could take
grub there.

find alexandra

alexandra
wrote to me once
at my parent's
house
a few years
after she left.
by the time
i wrote back
it was
too late
and
my letter was
returned to me
unopened
months later.

each time
i was
in paris
i tried
to call the number
she wrote
in the letter.
i left
messages
on strangers'
machines in
broken french.

no luck.

last year
when i packed
to move
to switzerland,
i packed
this box again.
i thought
that
i will try
one more time.
if
i can't
find her
i will bury
this box
in bretagne
somewhere
by the sea.

. . . . .

the other day
a comment
appeared
on my blog.
it made
my heart jump:

Cela fait des mois
que je lis tes blogs
à présent
et
je suis heureuse
d'y retrouver
la Gwen poétique
qui m'avait tant
charmée à Pullman.

Alexandra


. . .

she left
no email.
no address.

i hope that
she sees
this post.
that
she contacts me
again
and
finally
we can
reconnect.
finally
i can
give her
the box
that was meant
for her
so many
years ago
instead of
burying
it somewhere
by the sea.

alexandra_locket

xo

. . . . .

update:

alexandra left
this comment
february 26th:

C'est incroyable...
Moi aussi j'ai toujours espéré te retrouver.
Nous allons avoir bien des choses à nous raconter ! Je vis sur une petite île en Bretagne-sud, près de Belle-île, qui s'appelle Hoëdic.
J'ai trois enfants de 6, 5 et 4 ans (Gaspard, Adélie et Jeanne).
Leur papa s'appelle Benjamin.


{i didn't
publish
her comment
because it
had her email
and address}

she found me!

12 comments:

Kerstin Svendsen said...

oh! i hope she replies. what a wonderful story. love how you tell it.

emily said...

what an incredible turn of the internet! this story gave me goosebumps. (and hi!)

wendy said...

i love this story & it makes me crazy happy. you are sooo close.

lisa s said...

magic.

Anonymous said...

I hope she will get in touch with you. Wonderful story.

f. pea said...

formidable!

Julia said...

truly incredible. i hope she replies too!

alexandria said...

Wonderful post and my fingers are crossed that she will see this. You have a way with storytelling.

Belinda said...

Oh that is so, so wonderful that she found you Gwen! Can't wait to hear about your meeting :)

thora said...

I'm so happy I came back to your post and read that she has sent you a message. What a wonderful story.

Kelsey said...

C'est vraiment incroyable!

So glad you found each other.

amisha said...

what an incredible story. this makes me so happy. xox